February 27, 2012

Power Walking 101

I can’t remind you of this enough… The best exercise for every fitness level is also the easiest to do: Walking. Even those at beginning fitness levels can walk just 10 minutes a day to begin their routine and then build up to longer time periods at quicker paces.

All of us can walk around our neighborhoods (while keeping moving when in place, waiting for cross walk signals, etc.) or drive to a local park, hiking trail or even a nearby mall (if it’s raining or snowing). No gym membership required. Which means no excuses. These kind of easy choices allow us all to get moving – with friends or with our MP3 or iPod Players (see below for music ideas). And don’t forget to warm-up first (just as you would for any physical activity).

For tips on picking out safe walking shoes with a great fit: Click Here

For hints on warming up before a Power Walk: Click Here

Now that you’re warmed up, you’re ready to get moving. By following the checklist below, you’ll be off and running (well, walking) in no time at all:

__ Never forget the importance of posture. Hold your head high and keep your neck properly aligned.

__ Look forward and keep eyes focused ahead of you (while watching out for any traffic, bikes or other obstacles).

__ While facing forward, keep your chin parallel to the ground.

__ Pump your arms back and forth in a natural motion (coordinating with your legs) as you walk briskly.

__ Suck in that tummy while you walk. This is very important for overall toning and conditioning. For more tips and reason to “Suck it in”: Click Here

__ While sucking in your tummy, tuck your pelvis under/forward to maintain proper spine alignment.

__ Be careful not to tense up while exerting energy. Make sure your shoulders move naturally and freely.

__ Keep feet parallel to each other (while walking) and keep them approximately shoulder-length apart.

Let the music play (Introducing the Just Stop! Power Walking Playlist)

Since this playlist is so eclectic, you might own a lot of these songs already. If not, visit iTunes, Amazon or another site that sells individual MP3s to add these motivating tracks to you Power Walking Playlist. And, of course, you can feel free to add or substitute your own favorites – the key is picking music that’s uplifting, quick-paced and geared to get you moving.

New Day for You / Basia

First Steps:
Sweet Thing / Keith Urban

Power Plays:
Tonight Tonight / Hot Chelle Rae
So What / Pink
I Want You Back / Jackson 5
Part of Me / Katy Perry
Don’t Stop the Music / Rihanna
She’s My Man / Scissor Sisters
Since You Been Gone / Kelly Clarkson
Banjo / Rascal Flatts
You Can’t Fight Fate / Taylor Dayne
S.O.S. / Jordin Sparks

Cool Down:
So Magical / Martina McBride

Bonus (Ab Workout):
Slave 4 U / Britney Spears

Do you have a favorite song that you power walk to? Or walking tips of your own? I’d love for you to share them with me here. Until then? Keep on keepin’ on!

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3 Responses to “Power Walking 101”

  1. Chris Friedly says:

    Hi Gregg! Thank you for your post on walking. I have been walking 2-2.5 miles during lunch almost every work day for about a year. In conjunction with going to the gym, I have no doubt that walking contributed considerably to the progress I’ve made. This morning, I woke up and weighed in at less than 300 pounds for the first time in over 13 years. I was 415 at my heaviest and today I’m down 117 pounds. Walking has been SO helpful not only in providing me exercise, but also in judging my progress. I find I’m walking faster and farther than I ever thought possible a year ago. Your posts on Facebook and your blog are a huge dose of support. I appreciate you!

  2. Gregg says:

    Oh, wow, Chris! I can’t begin to tell you how big the smile is on my face after reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing. Next time I step onto the treadmill (tomorrow morning at 5am sharp), I am going to have you in mind as I step forward. Success stories like yours really inspire me. And I need all the inspiration I can get — just as we all do — since even after reaching goal weights, we must still keep in mind the principles that got us there (to avoid gaining it back). I applaud you at reaching your latest successful weight. Do you realize what kind of incredible achievement that is? 117 pounds? Are you kidding me! That’s so incredible. I love that you’re noticing other positive changes besides just looking good, which I’m sure you do. Please, please keep me (and the rest of us who use this blog, etc.) posted on your continued success. You’ve got a team of fans behind you, Chris. You are amazing!

  3. […] before I finally dropped the pounds in a sensible way (portion control, exercise, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep), I had to change how I thought about […]

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